Full Christmas Bonus details revealed in Budget 2022 as hundreds of thousands to benefit

By Michelle Cullen

As part of today's Budget, up to €315 million has been given for Christmas bonuses for all welfare recipients.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys secured the deal with Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath on October 11.

The deal will see those receiving benefits receiving a double payment in one of the weeks leading up to Christmas as a bonus.

Minister Humphreys secured almost €900m in funding for a range of new budget measures, including a €5 increase across the board in welfare payments.

The increase will come into effect for all those who receive the State pension, Jobseekers allowance, paternity benefits and most other welfare payments from January 2022.

The State pension will now be €253.30 a week, the Jobseeker's Allowance will be €208, and new parents on parental leave will receive €250 a week.

Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys TD during the launch of a Cybercrime awareness campaign at the Garda National Cybercrime Bureau, Harcourt Square, Dublin. (Collins Photo Agency, Dublin)

Parental leave will also increase from five to seven weeks next year.

The Christmas Bonus will cost the government approximately €315m, while the €5 increase will cost around €350m a year.

A complete list of benefits to be increased by €5 per week include Illness Benefit, Partial Capacity Benefit, Maternity Benefit, Health and Safety Benefit, Adoptive Benefit, Paternity Benefit, Parent’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Benefit and Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit For Self-Employed, Occupational Injuries Benefit, Carer’s Benefit, State Pension, Blind Pension, Invalidity Pension, Widow’s Pension, Widower’s Pension and Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension, Guardian’s Payment, Deserted Wife’s Benefit and The Incapacity Supplement.

There will also be a €5 increase to the One-Parent Family Payment, Carer's Allowance, Supplementary Welfare Allowance, Disability Allowance, Farm Assist, Back To Education Allowance, Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, Jobs Initiative, Work Placement Experience Programme, Back To Work Family Dividend and The Part-Time Job Incentive.

Minister Humphreys also secured €200m for targeted measures, including carers.

There will be significant changes in the way carers are means-tested.

This will mean that savings of up to €50,000, instead of the current level of €20,000, will be disregarded when a carer is means-tested.

A change in the amount a couple can earn per week while receiving the benefit will also increase from €665 to €750 a week.


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